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Davis Journal

Winegar works so Utahns won’t waste hiking trails

Feb 01, 2024 11:03AM ● By Tom Haraldsen
Lonny Winegar has organized efforts to repair hiking trails such as the one in Adams Canyon. Courtesy photo

Lonny Winegar has organized efforts to repair hiking trails such as the one in Adams Canyon. Courtesy photo

Lonny Winegar has always been a hiker. It was the way he was raised – loving the outdoors. As a teenager he climbed into the Grand Tetons. After his family sold their business (Winegar’s Supermarkets) a few years ago, he set a new personal goal – taking a hike daily and starting with his favorite trail up Adams Canyon.

“I noticed almost immediately that the trail was in disrepair,” the Kaysville resident said. “There were signs of erosion, and I found fence posts that were exposed right in the center of the trail.” So he immediately took action – capping those posts and realizing there was a need for large scale and lasting trail restoration. He later found a sign at that site thanking “someone” for capping those posts.

That’s when he started Don’t Waste Our Trails in 2022. According to Lonny’s website, “I knew that to make a significant impact on the trails, I needed to involve others. The hiking community is full of active altruistic people who have a real sense of respect and reverence for the mountains. I knew that if I provided an opportunity for hikers to give back to the trail, they’d show up. And they did.”

The DWOT movement has a lot to do with friendships Lonny has made along the trail. 

“Many hikers felt the same way – that ruts and rebar and other things we’d find on the trails needed to be addressed or removed,” he said. He created his website and last May organized his first event to do repairs along the trail in Adams.

“I got Davis County to help out with the cost of materials and we had about 20 volunteers to help move dirt to fill in some erosion,” he said. “I held a second event last November, and about 40 volunteers showed up. Again, we moved tons of dirt to hopefully make a long-lasting difference.”

His goal is to do something like that quarterly, starting again this spring. He’s spoken to county officials about getting permission to rebuild a small bridge up the trail, something he hopes to accomplish once the weather warms up. He’s passionate about keeping trails clean and in good repair. 

The core mission of Don’t Waste Our Trails is to educate hikers on responsible trail use and to spearhead restoration projects across Utah’s trails. To fund these initiatives, the brand utilizes sales from its range of branded merchandise. Winegar isn’t in the business to make money, but he does offer T-shirts, hoodies and hats, and each item sold directly supports trail maintenance and educational campaigns. He said it allows hikers to not only contribute financially to the cause but also to wear their support proudly, spreading the word about trail conservation.

“I’ve given away a lot more hats and shirts than we’ve sold,” he said with a smile in his voice. “Having our logo on these items is really more about getting volunteers to join in our cause.”

He also takes his dog Jasper with him each time he hikes. Winegar picks up bags of trash he finds along the trail and “Jasper helps haul them out.”

Winegar’s happy with the community response to DWOT. Hikers across the state have reached out to him and he sees the possibility of organizing similar efforts on many other trails in Utah. 

You can learn more about the movement on the website at